Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Gospel

Recently I have been struck anew by the gospel. This has come about in several different ways. One has been the books I have been reading. I have just finished reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. I had read bits of this book before, but nothing has compared to reading it now as I am seeking to shepherd my own little one's heart. Ted Tripp does such an excellent job communicating the great need of the gospel to be central in raising our children. Another book I have been reading is Desiring God by John Piper. I have read parts before, but never accomplished reading the whole thing. Sometimes I feel like this finite brain of mine cannot take in all the truths set forth in this book. But, this time I feel like my heart is more ready to grasp the truth that God delights when I am infinitely satisfied in him--that He desires that I be completely happy in Him. And if I am going to be completely happy in my savior, I must know him better right? So this led me to start reading through the gospel of John. I am striving to know my God as I look at Jesus through new eyes. I have also been meditating on other scriptures as I am reading this gospel. Scriptures like Col. 1: 15-20, "He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might he preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood on the cross." Jesus is central to everything in the universe, and I have felt the desire to KNOW him.

So, as I have been looking more intently at the gospel I believe in, several things have really struck me. One is the power of the gospel. Ephesians 1:19-20 speaks of this power: "and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places". This is not a wimpy God that I serve. He had the power to raise his son from the dead, and what is more, that power he used to raise his son from the dead He works in me! I have seen this power in all Jesus does as I have been reading. He walks on the water in John 6. This is not just so his disciples would be amazed and scared silly. This was to display his sovereign power over all he created. HE IS GOD! This power is also shown in his first miracle of turning the water into wine. Not only does this show his power over creation but it shows that he has the power to provide for all our needs. If he can take a little boy's lunch and feed five thousand men (not counting all the women and children), I certainly feel he has the power to provide for all my needs.

I have also seen how Jesus is all-knowing. He knew what the Pharisees where thinking time and again as he boldly proclaimed the truth that He was the promised messiah. He knew what his disciples were thinking...their doubts, fears, and pride. He knew who were truly his followers and who would desert and betray him. He knows our minds and hearts completely. This is shown with the official who asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus saw that God had granted this man faith and healed the man's son in an instant. The man received word of his son's healing on his journey home and knew the exact moment Jesus had spoken healing life back into his son's body.

Jesus was also single minded. Even after being weary from traveling, he put his physical needs aside to speak to the Samaritan woman at the well. He saw her sinful heart and knew her soul was ripe unto harvest. When his disciples urged him to eat, he answered that his food was to do the will of his father. The will of his Father was to seek and save the lost. Jesus would not be deterred, even to eat and drink. How thankful I am for this single-mindedness. For it was this single-mindedness that sought and saved me!

And, one of the most precious truths that I have been awed by is that Jesus is all satisfying. He says he is the bread of life and the living water. He knows and understand the deep longings of our souls. We may try to fill this longing with mindless, work, people, shopping, sports, etc. (I understand that these things are not bad in and of themselves. It is when they take the place of Jesus and consume our time, thoughts, energy, and affections that they become evil.) All these things will leave us hungry for more. We all seek to worship something. But Jesus knew that he was the only ONE that is ALL SATISFYING. He fills the longing in our souls with peace, joy, contentment. He is the TRUTH that is all satisfying.

So as I have been seeing more of my savior, my prayer is that I will become more like him. That I will be his imitator and be the sweet aroma of Christ. I pray that I will not walk in doubt and fear, or in weariness of soul, but that I will know and call upon His great power. May I rest in his sovereignty. He knows my past, present, and future. I have nothing to fear. May I be single minded in sharing this gospel for it is life to those who believe. May I be satisfied in Jesus alone. And, may this transform all that I do. May I point my husband and daughter to Jesus as I care for them daily. May I live a bold life before my neighbors so that the light of Jesus may pierce their darkened hearts. May I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to endure with joy this fight of faith. And, may I keep my gaze on my eternal reward....Jesus.

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